A new cannula to ease cement injection during vertebroplasty
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One of the main limitations of vertebroplasty is the excessive pressure required to inject a sufficient amount of cement into a vertebral body. Based on previous work that shows that approximately 95% of the injection pressure is required to deliver the cement through the cannula, we proposed a new cannula design with a larger internal diameter in the proximal section. The objective of this study is to determine whether the new cannula geometry significantly reduces the delivery pressure and eases cement injection during vertebroplasty. Two different methods were employed to examine the delivery pressure in a conventional and two redesigned cannulae: (1) analytical model: Hagen-Poisseuille’s flow through a tube was used to predict the pressure drop in the cannulae; (2) experiment: first a Newtonian silicone oil and then an acrylic bone cement was injected through the cannulae at a constant rate of 4 cc/min, and the delivery pressure was recorded. Both the experimental and analytical findings confirmed that the redesigned cannula reduces the delivery pressure significantly. Specifically, when the internal diameter of the proximal section was increased by a factor of two, which is clinically feasible, the delivery pressure dropped by about 63%. The redesigned cannula appears to have the potential to improve vertebroplasty. The key benefits are that (1) it eases cement injection, (2) it can be easily integrated into the existing procedure, and (3) it is cost-effective.